Reviews | By Ed Pinsent / The Sound Projector
Three Acoustical Surveys
Enrico Coniglio | TEREDO NAVALIS
Enrico Coniglio has been researching the Venetian lagoon for 15 years. His latest findings are published in the form of sound art, on the CD Teredo Navalis (GRUEN188 CD). His work has evidently provided him with deep knowledge of specialist areas like tide systems, marine life, and an understanding of the nature of the territory which few of us can hope to achieve. He’s also aware of constant and profound change in the environment, and not just in the water – the “post-urban and post-industrial” landscape interests him too. He’s conducting an ecological enquiry for sure, but on his own terms; most of us, myself included, see the “crisis” in Venice as one created by tourism, with the flooding problem and the damage to historically and culturally important buildings uppermost in our minds. But Coniglio sidesteps this particular debate, in favour of examining what he considers to be the more “marginal” parts of the lagoon, referring specifically to a location between Murano and Sant’Erasmo which is where he chose to put his hydrophones in the water, along with electromagnetic sensors. []


Michael Lightborne | Ring Road Ring
Michael Lightborne‘s previous record for this label was the excellent Sounds Of The Projection Box, released in 2018 as a beautifully packaged LP record with plenty of photographic illustrations of his theme. He made documentary recordings of the sounds of projection booths in UK cinemas, but also contextualised the work with his detailed, well-considered annotations and observations. That rigour is much in evidence on today’s record, Ring Road Ring (GRUEN 195). He made recordings of the ring road in Coventry, a structure that was built after the war in the hopes of allowing traffic to bypass the city, so the council could make good on its plan to build a pedestrianised centre. There are numerous concrete pillars supporting this road, and this is where Lightborne attached his microphones to collect his field recordings. These are presented on the record; first as a long (10:53) piece, the title track in fact, which collages and layers a number of the original recordings together into a mini-symphony of grey, droning sounds. []


Various Artists | Next City Sounds: Interfaces
Both Teredo Navalis and Ring Road Ring are examples of a single artist’s investigation of a very specific location, using sound art. By contrast, the record Next City Sounds: Interfaces (GRUEN 192) is a highly collaborative effort, involving multiple creators in its realisation, and was also a very interactive event, allowing the audience to participate in its making to some extent. I think it’s a document of what transpired on one day in Karlsruhe in August 2018, as part of a larger cultural event called KAMUNA, the Karlsruher Museumsnacht. It involved three locations in the city, one of which was the pedestrianised Kaiserstrasse; the creators involved were Lasse-Marc Riek; the electronics duo Linto + Røyk; the performance art group KITeratur; and the group No Input Ensemble. Though separated in space, all of these people were generating sounds and contributing to the general audio data-stream – Lasse-Marc did it with field recordings to make a “live collage”, Linto + Røyk performed live electronica and modular synth music, No Input Ensemble did their act live in part of the ZKM arts lab, and so on. []